How to Plan a Low-Maintenance Landscape You’ll Love

Wheelbarrow and shovel beside a flower bed with brick landscape edging
Save yourself time working on the lawn and garden with low-maintenance landscaping.

Landscaping is a big part of homeownership, but it can often require more time, energy and resources than you want to spend.

Thankfully, you can achieve a low-maintenance yard by limiting your grass, extending your hardscaping and making careful plant selections.

Here are some strategies for switching to a lower-maintenance landscape that looks great.

Hand digging into soil to test its quality
Test soil and make sure it has good drainage before you plant anything.

1.   Soil and Mulch Maintenance

Test your soil annually to ensure it contains the right nutrients and pH levels for hosting plant life.

Soil with good drainage is crucial, as some plants need it more than others — plus it keeps plant rot away. Healthy soil ensures lush plant growth and prevents weeds from sprouting.

Many weed types — such as dandelions, crabgrass and ragweed — thrive in unhealthy, nutrient-lacking soil. Put down green manure or mulch if you spot these pesky plants hanging around your lawn.

Mulching your gardens and tree beds also locks in moisture. It offers protection against blazing and freezing temperatures, and some mulch varieties repel garden pests.

You’ll spend less time worrying over your lawn when it’s healthy and thriving.

Juniper plant blooming in the backyard
Juniper is a low-maintenance, drought-resistant plant that looks beautiful in bloom.

2. Choose Plants Strategically

Choose drought-resistant plants like ninebark, juniper and coneflowers for easier gardening. Even if you don’t have a certified green thumb, you’ll be unlikely to kill these varieties — and they require less watering.

Perennials like bee balm, ice plants and chrysanthemums are also great choices. These plants bloom annually and live for more than two seasons, unlike annuals or biennials. Herbaceous perennials die back in winter and bloom in the spring, while woody types go dormant and remain aboveground in winter.

Follow your hardiness zone guidelines to figure out which varieties are best for your yard. The map separates regions by their minimum winter temperatures to determine which plants thrive in which areas.

Research individual plant needs, too — though many won’t need much water, some may require full sun or shade.

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